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Duke Runs Over NC Central, 117-28
Game Recap
 
3 Things To Know: Clemson
Duke Runs Over NC Central, 117-28
By Rob Clough
December 29, 2009

  NUTSHELL     BOX     RECAP     PLAYERS  

Player-by-Player Stats and Commentary




Krystal Thomas

 
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Krystal was in a position to dominate against a team whose top post player was 6-1 (and who got in immediate foul trouble). The results were somewhat mixed, as Krystal missed a number of close-in shots (including several hook shots) and was shaky at the foul line. She still had 14 points and 8 rebounds, but she could have had 25 points in this game quite easily. Defensively, she was her usual imposing self, blocking 5 shots and defending the rim so strongly that the Eagles were forced into 4 30-second violations. Krystal ran the floor well, finishing one basket in transition and quickly knifing through the lane to finish a gorgeous pass from Shay Selby.



Joy Cheek

 
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Joy was solid in both halves at both ends of the floor, aggressively looking for her shot. While she did nail an early three, she also finished a three point play in transition, posted up for a score, hit a turnaround jumper in the lane and powered up for a couple of free throws. Joy dug around for a number of steals as well, doing a nice job of jumping into passing lanes and poking balls away.



Karima Christmas

 
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In a game defined by hustle, Karima stood above everyone else with her constant, manic attack at both ends of the floor. She began the game with a steal and layup. She scored 10 points in the first eleven minutes of the game, sinking a three, finishing in transition, getting a stickback and scoring off the dribble with a high-difficulty, twisting finish. In between, she dished out assists, took care of the ball and also jumped lanes to pick off steals. There was a level of efficiency to her game that hasn't always been present this season, but matching that efficiency with her usual intensity was a potent combination.



Keturah Jackson

 
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This was another highly efficient performance for KJ, who did a great job of finishing in transition, creating for others and taking good shots. She even nailed her second three pointer of the season on a pass from Scheer, but it was her relentless defense that made her so valuable in this game. NCCU wasn't ready for a player of her size attacking their smaller guards; KJ had a 5 to 6 inch edge on each opponent and it showed in the struggle they had in just getting rid of the ball. On one play, Jackson simply walked up to her opponent and ripped the ball out of her hands. Duke's complex use of multiple defenses was effective because of the physical advantages they possessed as well as the precision demonstrated in their deployment.



Jasmine Thomas

 
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Jasmine did well in her relatively short stint, nailing a couple of threes, finishing a lob from Mitchell, sinking a 15' jumper off an inbounds play, and scoring in transition. More impressively, Jasmine was constantly looking to set up her teammates, finding Krystal in transition, Christmas for a three, KJ in transition, Cheek in the post, etc. She added an element of the spectacular to otherwise routine plays, and she was clearly a level above any other guard on the floor.



Bridgette Mitchell

 
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Bridgette picked up 3 quick (and cheap fouls moments into her first-half stint), but she hung in there and had a few spectacular plays. Her lob to Jasmine was the big one, but she also scored off the dribble and finished in transition.



Allison Vernerey

 
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Allison hadn't actually practiced since before the Maine game and came home from France just a few days ago. She put that aside quickly with a dish to Jasmine for a three, a score on a post-up and a spectacular steal and layup after she poked the ball away at mid-court. Allison did struggle at the foul line, and I noticed that she doesn't keep her feet together, just one of several weird little mechanical quirks in her shot form. Vernerey fought hard, grabbing a number of boards, and she did well when paired with K.Thomas. The high-low between them is still a work in progress, with both players throwing the ball away when trying to force it into her teammate. If Duke can perfect this tandem's play together, that will give the Devils a tremendous weapon.



Kathleen Scheer

 
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This was a solid game for Kathleen, who drained a couple of treys, got to the foul line, scored in transition and put home a stickback. Defensively, she played a lot of center and power forward, which was a natural against this sort of opponent. What I liked most about her game was her unselfishness. She passed up any number of shots to get a better one for her teammates, and this resulted in 3 assists, including treys for Selby and Jackson.



Shay Selby

 
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Another strong game for the up-and-coming sophomore guard. She drained a couple of threes and sank a pull-up jumper, but it was her relentless pressure on the ball that really drained NCCU's resolve to fight back. Shay also had any number of jaw-dropping assists, like a bullet to Jackson in transition and another dish to Bridgette on a fast break. She's the sort of person born to play in an uptempo system, given her body control, speed and creativity. This game was more an affirmation of what she's done recently than any real kind of validation; Shay had clearly worked herself into Duke's extended rotation, but the sharpness of her game revealed that she's willing to put in the hard work necessary to make it up the rotation ladder.



Chelsea Hopkins

 
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This was the best showing overall for Chelsea in quite some time. For a player who had more turnovers than assists coming into the game, she turned that around in this game with 5 assists and just 1 turnover. She even scored in transition, but took just one other shot. It seemed to me that Chelsea was doing too much thinking and not enough reacting when she was trying to run the game. This was the first time I had seen her look confident in breaking down a defense and making sure that she had a variety of options when distributing the ball.



Alexis Rogers

 
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This was Alexis' best game since the opener against Houston Baptist. McCallie noted that Lex had played well in the last couple of practices, and she was rewarded with ample playing time and a chance to prove herself. Things looked a bit grim at first as she threw up an ugly airball and committed a dumb foul. She brushed that off with some spectacular steals, culminating in a sequence where she stole the ball and dished to Scheer in transition; where she scored on a three-point play with just five seconds to go in the half. In the second half, she stuck a jumper, got another steal & layup and generally wreaked havoc on opponents because of her unique size and length. I'm hoping she can continue to work hard so she can get more minutes, because her versatility is a valuable weapon.





Duke Runs Over NC Central, 117-28
Game Recap
 
3 Things To Know: Clemson

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